Thalys and KLM have signed a cooperation agreement to develop their Air/Rail product to continue to be a more attractive alternative for passengers. The aim is to increase the number of customers who take the train from Brussels to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and then take a KLM flight.

For some time now, KLM has been offering the possibility to travel from Brussels to Schiphol by TGV with the Thalys logo and then fly (or vice versa). This option had already been successful before the Covid pandemic. Before 2020, around 20 to 25% of transfer passengers chose the Air/Rail product.

Thalys and KLM now want to boost this percentage. While keeping an eye on the substantial savings in fuel costs as well as in the reduction of emissions that a rail line brings compared to air travel. The upgrading of the existing air/rail product makes a daily feeder flight between Schiphol and Brussels unnecessary.

“KLM wants to reduce emissions by offering rail as an alternative to short-haul flights. This new development of the Air/Rail product with Thalys is a step in the right direction. Linking the two networks at Schiphol to enable fast, efficient and comfortable connections is a positive development. This cooperation with Thalys is in line with our vision of intermodality,” says Boet Kreiken, Executive Vice President Customer Experience at KLM.

Many points of improvement

The enhanced KLM/Thalys product will come into effect from July 17. It will then include:

● integrated train and flight booking
The new Air/Rail tickets are now available for booking on KLM.com, for travel dates from July 17, 2022. Customers can therefore book their entire trip via KLM and, when booking, opt for the comfort and durability of Thalys instead of an air connection.

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● simplifying check-in
KLM customers can now check in at Brussels South station and receive their boarding passes for their entire journey, both by train and by air.

● optimizing information and the customer experience
In the event of disruptions, customers are informed by KLM and reassigned, whether by train or by plane. They also receive information from KLM about travel arrangements and transfers.

The Air/Rail product will continue to evolve to better meet customer needs. To further meet the needs of today’s traveler, KLM and Thalys are already working on two other value-added services. The first is an integrated baggage solution for a hassle-free transfer. The second is a dedicated queue for Thalys passengers for greater efficiency at Schiphol airport.

And BertRand Gosselin, CEO of Thalys, added: “We will thus build the connecting journey of tomorrow, combining train and intercontinental flight.”